The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Money on Constant Content

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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35 thoughts on “The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Money on Constant Content

  1. Not all is good. I’ve had 20 article offers/accepted in the last 3 months and NO MONEY. Further, CC hasn’t responded to multiple emails asking about the situation. And contrary to this nice blog post the editors on site are fussy and heavy-handed. Note that this blogger is ‘selling’ an e-book about CC so you should take their feedback with a grain of salt.

    The feedback you sometimes receive from CC editors is vague and you will be ‘told’ to go learn something on an outside site.

    I have published over 2,000 articles (PAID) online over the years from a variety of sites. At the moment CC is not at the top of my writing list because of their failure to provide easy access to the author when there are problems. I don’t need to chase my money. If I have accepted offers I should see cash.

    • Hi FRR Mallory –

      I hate to have to say it, but I’m starting to agree with you. A quick look on the Constant Content forums shows that things seem to have deteriorated for writers on CC since this post was written. From what I’ve seen, the pay appears to be dwindling for requests, the admin’s inability to respond to writer emails has become the subject of widespread concern, and the hassles with editors appear to have multiplied.

      Appreciate your feedback, because nothing stays the same, and unfortunately for CC, they seem to be frustrating quite a number of their writers at the moment. I stand by this post (as written, and at the time it was written), but I’ll be keeping an eye on what’s going on over at CC, and if there isn’t an improvement in the situation there soon for writers, I’ll have no hesitation in removing my eBook from the market permanently and discontinuing my support for them.

      I love the concept of the site, but if their procedures (or lack of them) are frustrating their writers (even long-standing ones) to this extent, then even I (once one of their biggest fans) will have to leave them to their fate. One thing readers of my eBook have commented on is how honest I am and how BS-free it is. I tell it like it is. If CC doesn’t lift its game, I won’t have any hesitation in saying so, believe me.

      To be honest, I think all writing sites are struggling. The business model is hard to swallow for anyone actually trying to make a living from writing. For example, I now pursue my own writing clients, and last month I made nearly $6000 from just one of them. Hard for 4-cent a word ‘profits’ to compete with that.

      Thanks again for your input – really appreciate it.

      Cheers,
      Kevin Casey

      • Hi Kevin,

        I’ve found that nearly all of the ‘freelance’ venues structure their businesses to promote a writer’s belief in their low monetary value. They do this in both subtle and direct ways by implementing structures and practices that effectively diminish writer self esteem. This is a trickle down of the old ‘traditional’ publishing system where the writer is, by far, the lowest paid person in the publishing chain — forced into a position of ‘chasing’ publishing or literary agents and editors terrified of being ‘dropped’.

        It is essential for a writer to take back their power and to cease measuring their value based on external approval of persons in middleman positions. The only true measure of the value of your content is your end user – your reader.

        On the Internet, content is KING! Virtually all vibrant websites depend on frequent, fresh, interesting and well written content. This drives the traffic to their sites. Visitors to websites look to see if the content has been posted recently. If not, they move on and are unlikely to visit that site again. Why? It is out of date.

        Freelancers should contact stores, companies, service sites, and information sites directly to negotiate long-term relationships for providing content specific for that site. Your argument about content driving hits on a website is clearly very strong. If a site is currently buying off a site like CC they are a good target for the entrepreneureal writer.

        It is even better for a writer to canvas their database (friends and family) to find small business opportunities in their local area. Grow a local circle of customers whose sites require frequent updating of content. By doing this you can quickly abandon the pay-little freelance sites and their underhanded self-esteem diminishing tactics. If you still need editing assistance, join or create a local writing group and work out trades with other freelance writers who may have better grammar skills than you do.

        When a company like CC fails to allow for reasonable contact and interaction with their writers, it reflects a company perspective about the value of their writers. It’s time to take their hand out of your pocket!

        Mallory

  2. Thanks for the article Sam and Wendy. Reading this from Kenya and delighted what the internet can do. Just headed to giving it a try on CC like other writing sites. Will be back with my success. Thanks again and God bless you all for your great advice.

  3. Hi Wendy.
    First, I am going to thank you… for including this article in your blog. Writing used to be such a passion during my student years. Marriage, motherhood and a demanding job successfully pushed it far away from me, and apart from a few business related write-ups, I haven’t really put pen to paper! I had been searching of ways to come back and I’m thankful that this article is one of the best that I’ve come across in my search.
    Kevin, thank-you. While reading your advice on writing for Constant Content and I felt that the guidelines that you had given could, should and must apply for ALL form of writing! And, I have purchased Rodales Synonym Finder!
    Thanks both of you. Still a bit rusty, and even this short reply required plenty of edits!!

  4. Hi Wendy

    Thanks for the valuable info. I am interested to know if constant content entertains writers with only American and British backgrounds as is with many other similar content mills, or it is open for writers from across the globe. To be specific, I am from India, and hence want to know about my prospects with respect to Constant Content.

    Thanks

    • Hi Mohammad –

      Thanks for your query. Your prospects as a writer on CC have much more to do with the quality of your writing (in English) than your country of origin. Though Constant Content certainly does have some writers with English is a second language, I suspect that many writers in that situation might struggle to make the cut from an editorial standpoint. Constant Content’s editorial standards are higher than those of most article writing sites (which is why they pay a bit more), and to succeed there your grammar skills must be pretty solid.

      Mind you, there are plenty of folks from English-speaking countries who fail to make the grade too. As I said, it’s not about where you come from, it’s about the consistent quality of your writing, and your ability to craft well-written articles that people want to buy.

      As far as I am personally aware, Constant Content doesn’t have any policy excluding writers from specific countries. My advice would be to go ahead and apply to be a writer there, and see what happens. If you make it, great. If you don’t, at least you know you gave it a shot. To register, you’ll have to take a quick English grammar quiz, and then provide a brief writing sample (the site will explain all this). If you make it past that stage, you should be on your way. Good luck!

      My eBook explains how to avoid a lot of the ‘new writer pitfalls’ that hold people back from succeeding on this site, so it’s definitely worth a read if you do get in. I wish you well.

      Cheers,
      Kevin Casey

  5. 160 hours to write 70 articles? That’s the slowest writing I’ve ever seen. 500 word article should take roughly 30 mins. Good grief. He takes over 2 hours per article.

    I fail to see how this is impressive.

    • Hi Matt –

      As I mention in my eBook, I don’t doubt that there are faster writers around than myself. However, this 2 hours + is a total time: it includes the research (reading source material on assorted sites as required), the actual writing, putting the article up onto CC’s submissions page (which entails creating an enticing article summary and a few other minor bits of nonsense), plus, of course, an absolute minimum of 3 proofreads throughout the process. I also take a 10 minute break for every 50-minute stretch of writing that I do (both on Constant Content and off) – it’s good for the back and eyes.

      Under other circumstances, I can write (and have written) 500-word articles in 20 minutes or so. Speed writing isn’t the aim on CC. It’s writing quality content at a pace that ensures your article won’t get immediately rejected for spelling errors, grammar snafus, incomprehensible sentence construction and poor research. As such, I would suggest that anyone who can go from a blank computer screen to a freshly submitted article on Constant Content in a half hour would be my instant hero, and an absolute legend. More likely, such a person would only last a week on this site, because a series of embarrassing rejections would soon put a halt to their hasty endeavours.

      I never said that taking 2 + hours to write and submit articles on Constant Content is impressive. I just said that’s how long it takes me. If others can produce the same quality of content (my article approval percentage and sales rate is one of the highest on the site) four times as fast and at the same quality and saleability level as I do, I wish them very well – they’ll make four times the money: awesome!

      Cheers,
      Kevin Casey

  6. I’ve been writing for CC for about 6 mos now, mostly between when procrastinating book deadlines to bring in extra cash (publishing advances in the US aren’t what they used to be!). I like the site because of the freedom and the lack of deadlines, which means I can set something aside a day or twp before giving it a final read.

    Kevin, I think you hit all the buttons, but I’d add one more. My favorite feature is “Writing Ideas,” which is really a list of the articles that sold in the past 24 hours, what rights the writer sold, and what the selling price was. This gives you a real sense of what the current buying trends are. It also shows you how many people under-price their articles. I only offer full rights and have played around with price points and concluded pricing makes little difference. If it’s a good article that meets a buyer’s needs, they will pay for it.

    If anyone new to CC reads this, don’t get discouraged if you aren’t as successful as Kevin was at the outset It took me several weeks to get a dozen articles finished, and a few more weeks to have a sale. But once you make the first sale, you get excited about posting more, and the more you post, the more you will inevitably sell. I have not found the Client Request to be fruitful for me. Requester these days seem fairly tightfisted offer less than CC’s suggested 9 cents a word, and many are so targeted they aren’t likely to do well in the general pool. One way I’ve improved sales is to pick a topic and post several articles together. Someone who is looking for content for a pet products site, for example, is likely to buy several articles addressing different aspects of dog ownership.

    And Kevin is right about not getting thrown off for 3 mistakes. I am used to having copy editors and proofreaders deal with my terrible keyboarding, and I think at first about half of my articles came back for typo correction — and they do have some quirky editing preferences. But they were patient with me, and you quickly learn what’s needed, and then you’re off and running.

    • Hi Pettacom –

      Glad you enjoyed my post, and are starting to have some success on Constant Content. And I agree with you that many people on the site undervalue their work. Part of my basic pricing strategy on CC is to look for the highest paying Public Requests first (and accept the ones I’m inclined to write), and to never, ever write for anything that offers less than 8 cents a word. Those 5 cent a word requests (even in bulk) get deleted in one second when I come across them. In my view, they aren’t worth the time you spend on them.

      As I mention in my eBook (where I also talk about the ‘Writing Ideas’ page, by the way!), it always amazes me how few people write for some of the Public Requests. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to write for one that was about ‘how to optimize your LinkedIn profile’. I figured: easy subject, there’ll probably be dozens of writers grabbing this one. But I submitted an article anyway. A week later, ka-ching! “Congratulations! Your Article Sold!” I’ve had a few unexpected and pleasant surprises like that on CC.

      As I also point out in my book, a writer can do quite well on this site by writing absolutely nothing but ‘on spec’ articles of their own choosing (rather than requests). 81% of all CC sales come straight from the existing catalogue of ready-to-go articles (the vast majority of which were written on spec). So go for it!

      One new thing that’s just been introduced in March 2014 is that CC asks new writers to submit a sample article. No biggie, but an extra small step when you sign up for the site.

      Cheers,
      Kevin Casey
      http://www.amazon.com/Kevin-Casey/e/B00IKGYPCK

  7. I have been writing for about an year now on CC, and I agree with what you’ve said. I sold my first article for $20, and back then, I thought it was a lot of money. I have learnt a lot about grammar and pricing since those, um, heady days. So far, the most expensive piece that I have sold is a $180 article about the NSA.
    Thanks for the encouragement. I look forward to making $2,000 in two weeks too. Be well, or in the words of Spock, live long and prosper.

    • I’m glad to see that you are doing well with C.C. Sam as I continue with my studies with AWAI .
      I could really use the money. Yes grammar is a issue that I deal with however I also have learned quite a bit regarding that as well.

      Thanks for sharing and I wish you a very happy Monday.
      Peace and be well to all.

  8. Thank you so much for all of your help Wendy as well as sharing this article as it ia a excellent tool as most writing advice that I receive.
    Happy Saturday and have the best weekend possible.
    Peace & be well.

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